Turkey – in the middle of its currency crisis – appears to be taking advice from and meeting with the most unlikely contender: El Salvador. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently met with Nayib Bukele as the country experiences one of the worst national currency crises in its long history. Could Turkey be the next big nation to declare bitcoin legal tender, and what will it learn from utilizing crypto?
Will Turkey Be the Next Country to Declare BTC Money?
The meeting occurred as El Salvador is planning to launch a $1 billion bitcoin-backed bond. The meeting occurred in the Turkish capital of Ankara, and both presidents had a lot to say about one another, with Bukele commenting to Turkish residents:
You have a great leader.
However, the details of the meeting are scarce at the time of writing, and it’s unclear if the two men discussed crypto in any way. In recent years, the Turkish government has been rather restrictive when it comes to crypto, though it’s possible things will begin to ease up now that the country’s national currency is devaluing so quickly. The Turkish lira has lost some 40 percent of its value since last year alone, and now it appears the nation is on the verge of economic collapse. Several protests have also erupted throughout the streets as the financial situation in the country gets worse.
To potentially ease things up for citizens, Erdogan has asked that the Turkish government lower interest rates as a means of pushing economic growth and stimulation. However, this hasn’t always worked given that Turkey tried lowering interest rates in 2021 and experienced booms in inflation due to the cheap lending. Prices of food and energy went up tenfold, and everyday citizens wound up dealing with most of the financial repercussions.
Turan Sert – an advisor to the Turkish crypto exchange Paribu – says that while he’s unsure of what will happen in Turkey’s future, he’s confident Erdogan will begin looking into cryptocurrency and that his advisors will at least tell him to consider the space. He says:
As an administration, they are a vocal advocate of bitcoin, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to bring up the bitcoin issue. They may listen to him, but I’m not sure it will have much effect on the thinking of the Turkish administration.
Both Erdogan and Bukele spent time greeting each other on social media. They also wrote of the meeting they had on Twitter, Bukele in Turkish and Erdogan in Spanish. Bukele wrote:
Greetings to everyone in Turkey from El Salvador, the land of #Bitcoin.
Support from Both Ends
Erdogan responded with:
Our support to El Salvador will continue.
El Salvador was the first country in the world to declare BTC legal tender, and while the journey has been rough, figures like Cathie Wood have praised the country’s crypto agenda.